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academia

Data and reading

Some thinking on whats changed since completing my research on brachiopodia and computer graphics in 1995. On the computing side:

  1. The Internet
  2. open source
  3. Programming languages, the rise and demise of heavyweight Java

On the palaeontology side of things I’m guess a lot less has changed, but worth doing some reading around and research. I do need to go back through the amount of paperwork in my house looking for data, in particular serial sections of brachiopods. However this data in hindsight isn’t brilliant for a couple of reasons:

  1. the are no reference marks on each slide (slice or peel based on the method of recording it)
  2. the slices are done at a thickness which can be used to interpret the inner structure, or lophophore, a word I do remember, rather than at the least possible needed to make reconstruction easier.

Some searching of the web to look for sections taken since 1995 when my thesis was published.

https://www.researchgate.net/figure/200557817_fig1_Fig-1-Thirteen-selected-transverse-serial-sections-of-Sahnithyris-andurensis-Sahni

A REVIEW OF TWO DE KONINCK RETZIOID BRACHIOPOD SPECIES, AND DESCRIPTION OF A NEW GENUS FROM THE CARBONIFEROUS OF EUROPE,
FERNANDO ALVAREZ and C. HOWARD C. BRUNTON
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1475-4983.00151/pdf

Managed to find a copy of Living and Fossil Brachiopods, by MJS Rudwick (1970) which is probably a book I should have read in 1991. Whilst I understood all specimens to be laid out the same way and that there is bi-lateral symmetry, I didn’t realised that this was the case of the lophophore also. These feeding mechanisms inside the shell were what I was trying to reconstruct and they are pretty complex in shape, and the algorithms in my thesis didn’t take into account this symmetry really, and would have potentially been an important factor.

I’ll be reading the rest of the book this time.

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